“I wanted humans to be weak for a change.“
Nova Sparks if the author of the DOME, a trilling sci-fi book that I had the pleasure to review here! Today Nova will talk about HBO, her favorite scene from the DOME, the hardest part of writing it.
What books have influenced your life most?
Hmm. my life? I guess it would have to be all of Emily Giffins books, William March’s “The Bad Seed”, and Emilie Durkheim’s “The Sacred and the Profane”. Emily Giffin is like my all time favorite author when it comes to romance (Leslie Kelly is my sex goddess when it comes to sexual intercourse… and now Amelia James) William March is my go to guy if I want twists and turns. The Bad Seed is such a well written book and I love the idea of using an unexpected character as the icon for evil. Emile Durkheim’s “The Sacred and the Profane” is my go to book for religious perspective. I love how he describes everything religious as sacred and everything non-religious as profane. I studied his theory in college and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Wow, great list there! Now, you wrote this book and published it yourself as well. What made you decide to go indie, and how did the self-publishing process go?
I wrote a total of about 6 books but they weren’t books at the time I wrote them.At one point, I desperately wanted to be a screenwriter so I wrote a few movies and TV show treatments. The first one was called “the DOME project” and I really wanted it to be on HBO. I tried really hard (probably not hard enough) for it to be on HBO but obviously that failed!
I came up with the idea of turning all the TV show and movie treatments into books but I didn’t really think about what I would do with them afterwards.
A few months after I was sort of done with them, I heard about ereaders and self-publishing while surfing the web. Then I went to a TV show viewing and there was a contest for a Kindle. I entered it (not thinking I would win) and I WON! I won a KINDLE! I figured it was a sign that I should self-publish so I decided to give it a try. I worked a little more on “the DOME project” but changed the title to “the DOME” and published it to see what people think about it. So far so good.
What’s your favorite scene or moment from the DOME, and why? Can you comment a bit about it without giving too much away?
My favorite scene from the DOME is when Emma (a human) cries in front of Ked (an alien) for the first time and she has to explain to him what tears are and why humans cry. I like that she has to explain what a seemingly normal thing actually means to a species that never interacted with a human before. I really love that scene because it really challenged me as a human. It took me a while to come up with an answer that didn’t sound scientific or scholarly defined/explained.
If someone asked you to explain tears without looking at the complex definition in the dictionary, could you?
Everyone cries for a different reason so what would you say as your answer? There are more scenes like that in the DOME but the part about the tears really hit home to me. Everyone cries. It is the one emotion that you can’t hide. It is pure and true. That scene was challenging but completely necessary for the tone of the book and for the direction the story will go in books 2 and 3.
That was one of the most memorable scenes in my opinion. What did you want to say with the DOME?
The DOME is my way of saying that humans are really cocky and arrogant. I’ve seen a lot of movies where aliens invade the Earth and we WIN! What the heck?
Keep in mind, these movies make sure to let the audience know that these aliens are WAY more technologically advanced than we are, not to mention stronger and more intelligent, yet…the humans win! I wanted to write a story where the humans are no longer the most powerful species in existence. I wanted to yank humans out of their comfort zone and make them recreate what it means to be human. I recently saw Battle LA (after the book was completed) and it solidified my point that humans LOVE being the victors in everything.
I wanted humans to be weak for a change. At the same time, I wanted to write a story where humans finally understand the things that make them special and unique. The DOME, I feel, does that. One of the main characters named Sam, is a normal male human being who just wants to live his life the way he wants to live it. He is bored with his married life and wants a change. After the Earth is destroyed he is sort of forced to give a damn about someone other than himself. I love stories where heroes are made and not born. Heroes that are born heroes don’t really do anything for me. I want to see progression. His daughter Emma is a typical 17 year old girl who disrespects parental and authority figures. She is lost and doesn’t really know who she is. It takes her being taken to a distant planet to sort of discover who she is as a young woman. This story, in the end, is all about self-discovery. Both on a personal and human level.
I was going to ask: What was the hardest part or one of the challenges of writing the DOME? – but I gess you answered that already! Was that the hardest part?
The “crying scene” was a challenge, but it wasn’t the hardest part. The hardest part was writing from a 37 year old man’s point of view, without sounding like a twenty-something year old woman. Even now, I’m wondering if my main character Sam sounds like a woman. After reading the whole book from beginning to end before publsihing, I’m still wondering if I got it right. I don’t want to piss off any men.
Did you get to ask men to read it and give you some feedback?
My boyfriend read it before I published it and he gave me a few pointers about Sam’s character. I’m so happy I let him read it because I changed a few things.
I had Sam seeming like a chick in some scenes.
Thanks to my boyfriend, Sam is more manly. Other than that, I was really afraid about letting people read my book before it was copyrighted. I heard a few stories about people taking advantage of self-publishing authors and stealing their work. I didn’t want that happening to me at all.
Especially when you have such an unique plot! What are five fun facts about you or about the DOME trilogy books, that readers would love to know?
Nova will answer this, talk about why she wrote a lesbian story when she was 11 and what’s coming next about the DOME trilogy- TOMORROW! Come back for the PART 2 of this amazing interview!